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Category: Carly Patent (page 1 of 2)

The City of Brotherly Love…Until We Play You in the Super Bowl by Carly Patent

Philadelphia: the home of the cheesesteak, the central hub of rowdy sports fans, the resting grounds of the Liberty Bell, and birthplace of semantics such as “jawn.” If there’s one thing that Philadelphians can agree on, it’s our shared Philly pride. Adding on to our extensive list of praise-worthy accomplishments is our most recent triumph of not only beating the Patriots in Super Bowl LII but also obtaining our first ever Super Bowl win. If it was believed that Philadelphians were proud before this momentous event, then Sunday, February 4, 2018 has most definitely proved everyone wrong.

Philadelphia is truly a special place that I am proud to say has a place in my heart (even though I’m from the suburbs right outside of Philly, it still counts). First, let’s start off with indeed the most important factor in any great city: the food. Immediately, cheesesteaks come to mind. You simply can’t say that you’re from Philly without having feasted on a proper cheesesteak. Of course, the battle between Pats and Genos is well-known, with people making the trip to the corner of East Passyunk Ave. to compare the two and see what all the hype is really about. Whether you order your steak as the classic “Whiz wit” or some other variation, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the simplicity of such a simple food – something that not even the greatest five-star chefs can match. Philadelphia, however, isn’t just known for its cheesesteaks. Philly soft pretzels could put Auntie Anne’s out of business in a second, and there’s nothing better than a warm pretzel (or a dozen) right out of the oven. I’m sure that many kids can relate to the happiness that I used to feel on pretzel days in school and the joy of finding fifty cents tucked away in my backpack so that I could buy one. Another Philly staple is the Tastykake, a classic treat that has recently expanded to other parts of the country. Whether it’s Butterscotch Krimpets, Kandy Kakes, or Cupcakes, Tastykakes cannot be rivaled – sorry Hostess and Little Debbie! For those of you who haven’t had a Tastykake, please, do yourself a favor, run to the nearest POD immediately, and purchase one. You can thank me later! The last, but certainly not least, Philadelphia favorite is water ice. Of course, the first disclaimer that I’d like to stress is not something about how satisfying water ice is on a hot summer day or how smooth the ice is or even how many flavors there are. Instead, I’d like to make a point about the pronunciation; for traditional Philadelphians, it’s “wooder” ([wʊɾəɹ] for all of the linguistics fans out there). Now that we’ve settled that debate, back to the water ice. There’s just something about a cup full of artificially dyed and flavored ice topped with fluffy, creamy soft serve swirled to perfection and bathed in rainbow jimmies – yes, I’m referring to “sprinkles” …just another Philadelphia semantic example with no explanation. Classic Philadelphia foods have the power to take us to a game at Citizens Bank Park, to the first day of Spring and long lines for free water ice, and to the red benches outside of Pat’s.

Although traditional Philly foods have satisfied our city’s stomachs for years, the history and depth of our city have also satisfied our spirits for years as well – encompassing the pride for which Philadelphians are known. Philadelphia is rich in culture, and even though some customs are quite random, they are undoubtedly ours. Traditionally, Philadelphia is well-known for the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, City Hall, the Walnut Street Theater, colorful murals, and the Philadelphia Zoo. Its Museum of Art exhibits magnificent artwork yet also offers the perfect opportunity to run up the “Rocky Steps” and throw your hands up in the air just as Rocky is shown doing in his nearby statue. Another landmark representative of Philadelphia is none other than the Reading Terminal Market – a true cultural explosion. One of America’s largest and oldest markets, the Reading Terminal Market offers everything from an irresistible roast pork sandwich to uniquely-flavored donuts and from a made-to-order cannoli to duck fat grilled cheese sandwiches. Long story short, the Reading Terminal Market has something for everyone, and almost everyone is guaranteed a “food baby” after this experience. The Mummers Parade is an event that is an additional Philly favorite. Each New Year’s Day, clubs compete in four categories: comics, fancies, string bands, and fancy brigades. With ornate costumes, scenery, and elaborate performances that take a year to organize, the Mummers Parade is an enjoyable, classic way to ring in a new year, and it’s almost sacrilegious to not watch it for at least five minutes on the first of January. Finally, one of Philly’s weirdest events is none other than the Wing Bowl, a contest for eating, you guessed it: chicken wings. This event has gained such popularity over the years that it is now held in the Wells Fargo Center, home to the Philadelphia Flyers and Sixers. What these examples hopefully demonstrate is that Philadelphia has a lot going on; from historical landmarks to contemporary happenings, we have plenty in which to immerse ourselves.

While our food is delicious and our city is thriving, there is one thing that brings Philadelphians together like no other: Philadelphia sports. Anyone who has ever been to a Sixers, Phillies, Flyers, or Eagles game will hopefully be able to attest to this fact. There’s no rhyme or reason for why Philly fans have been known to tailgate for hours on end, to paint their faces and entire bodies, and to, at times – make pretty foolish decisions. At least some of our dedication, however, can be attested to the fact that we love our city and want to prove it on the fields, on the ice, and on the court. Now, multiply this spirit by about 100%, and you’ll get what winning our first Super Bowl has done to make our city even greener, even louder, and even prouder. Let’s just say that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”…especially after we win the Super Bowl. I’m sure that many Philly fans can agree with me when I say that this Sunday night game was nail-biting, breath-holding, and touchdown-calculating. The road to this victory was long, having lost Carson Wentz to an ACL injury mid-season – to which I can only say “Hold up wait a minute, y’all thought I was finished?” (special shout out to Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares,” the Eagles’ Super Bowl entrance). True Eagles fans, however, never gave up on our chance to finally bring home a ring, and it was evident that this one game would magically bring our city together like never before. Pretzels were sold shaped like bones to symbolize the fact that we were the “underdogs,” buildings and bridges donned green lights, offices allowed everyone to wear forgo suits and business attire and instead don Eagles gear, and police greased poles to prevent people from climbing them in celebration. As evidenced by the happenings of the parade, however, even slippery poles won’t stop an excited Eagles fan. For me, this was quite the experience, being the only Eagles fan in my friend group. Everyone was instructed that if they would be watching with me, they were not permitted to say anything negative about the Eagles, and everyone was expected to eat an Eagles cupcake (generously provided by my mom) for good measure. I will admit that it was quite humoring to be able to celebrate my victory by rubbing it in their faces that my team won and that theirs didn’t – take that Giants fans!

Philadelphia’s recent Super Bowl win has enlightened my mind to appreciate my city even more so than before. I am proud of our quirks and traditions and of the spirit that we have in celebrating all that our city has given to us. Being away from everything – especially the traditional Super Bowl party atmosphere, fireworks, and parade – was difficult, but thankfully, my dad went out at 4:45 on the following Monday morning to get his hands on a Super Bowl t-shirt for me so that I could still feel included. I think that the only way to properly end this blog post is with E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES…until next Super Bowl when we go for win number two!


You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Carly Patent

Brooke Davis and Payton Sawyer, Batman and Robin, Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle, Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, Spongebob and Patrick, Chandler and Joey, and Lilo and Stitch—just some of the iconic duos that instantly come to mind when thinking about friendship. At this time of year in particular, we typically take the time to reflect on our own friendships and the people that make those friendships oh-so-special. These friends are the people that we can call at any hour of the day, that we can send the most horrendous selfies to, that we can eat an entire pizza with and not feel judged, and that most importantly, are there for us no matter what.


I am sure that many of my fellow Blue Hens shared at least some of these sentiments before coming to college. How will I find a roommate that I can actually stand living with? What are the people on my floor going to be like? Will I have the guts to actually strike up a conversation with someone in my class? What will the people in my major be like? Will I even make friends? Admittedly, it can sometimes be a hard transition going from friends that you have known since kindergarten—when a girl randomly decided to ask you who you liked on the first day—to friends that you have known for barely a month or two. As a sophomore, with almost three semesters under my belt, however, I have come to learn that while I have only known some of my friends here for a little over a year, they are the friends that I could see being in my wedding party, the friends that my future children will call “aunt” and “uncle,” the friends that no matter the distance—from Pennsylvania to Connecticut to New York—will be my friends for life.


My parents always tell me that I am so lucky to have the friends that I do, and I’ve come to realize that they are actually right—I’ll let them have it just this once! In college specifically, friendships develop so much faster than they do in say middle or high school. Knowing someone for two months can feel like two years due to the amount of time that you spend together—going to class, walking around campus, hanging out, eating, sleeping, and everything in between. I personally can attest to this phenomenon; in just a semester, I not only learned the names of my friend’s immediate family but the names of his nieces and nephews, where he went to high school, who his favorite football player is, what his favorite restaurant is, and how he likes his coffee. Impressive, I know! I’ve come to find that it is not the length of time that you’ve been friends but the quality of the friendship that really makes it worthwhile.


Reflecting on how far I’ve come in the past year, the friendships that I’ve maintained from high school, and the ones that I have made during my time here at the University of Delaware, I now understand the zenith of friendship. My true friends have been the ones that let me come into their room every day to steal a piece of their candy before I go to bed. They are the friends that push me to do new things—such as learning how to skateboard so that they could tell everyone that their friend actually knows how to skateboard. My friends are the ones that threaten to come to my tennis matches with obnoxious posters to cheer me on against my will. They are the ones that have conversations with me from outside the shower. My friends are the ones that share in my oddly relaxing passion for organizing and are willing to spend an entire night folding and hanging clothes and rearranging drawers. They are the people that make me fall to the ground laughing over some of the most random, childish conversations—conversations that normal human beings would likely never have. They are the friends that I can text or call once a month, and upon seeing them in person, feel like I never even left. They are the friends that no matter what, will drop everything to be there for you, to listen to you rant for an hour, to talk to you on the walk back from class, and to always guarantee that at least one of your embarrassing stories be brought up in conversation.


What makes these friends valuable parts of our lives is that we cannot remember not having them in our lives, and we have no clue how we even survived without them. I have met some of my very best friends in some of the most random ways—whether it was through a Facebook message before coming to college, a conversation struck up while waiting in line, or the random selection of a specific dorm room number—and I am so thankful that our paths crossed. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I decided not to send that message, if I got in line a minute later, or if I chose to live on a different floor or in a different room number. The moral of the story is that you never know when you’re going to meet your next best friend. One Tree Hill, also known as the best show to exist on the planet (even though Netflix may disagree) presents us with this quote, “If you had a friend you knew you’d never see again, what would you say? If you could do one last thing for someone you love, what would it be? Say it, do it, don’t wait. Nothing lasts forever.” As we close off the semester and close off another year, take a second to talk to someone new, to tell your friends how much they mean to you, to be the best friend that you can be, and to take a page from the books of Mike and Sully, Nathan and Lucas, Scooby and Shaggy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Eric Forman and Steven Hyde, and Buzz and Woody.

For the Love of the Game by Carly Patent

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a new can of tennis balls, the momentary sense of amazement when hitting the perfect drop shot, the feeling of unraveling a tattered, highly discolored grip, the joy of holding up a single finger to signify that your opponent’s shot is out, or the pressure of a sudden death tie breaker. Over the past few weeks, I have come to realize that tennis is a game that I truly love, no pun intended!

I started playing tennis when I was five years old—about the same time when I decided that it was too scary to move up to a higher level in gymnastics. My mom had played tennis in college, and she encouraged me to give it a try since one of my friends was also planning on taking lessons. After my first lesson, I was thrilled that I could hit the ball by holding my racquet with just one hand and that my ball could reach the rafters in the indoor facility (although I later realized that you didn’t get any bonus points for hitting the ceiling). It was also quite promising that after each lesson, my parents allowed me to get a snack out of the vending machine—because who doesn’t feel the need to pig out after a successful workout?

In high school, tennis was not just a weekly activity. I joined my high school’s tennis team, which had been the goal of my short tennis career. With every tennis lesson that I took, every ball that I hit, and every brightly colored Nike hat that I purchased leading up to it, I believed that I was one step closer to achieving that goal. In my freshman year, I was fortunate to have made the varsity team, and as the years progressed, I continually rose up the ladder. The dreaded August pre-season practices, challenge matches, and nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching, nail-biting third sets were always overshadowed by the inside jokes among my teammates, the bagels after 7-0 wins, the apparel that we all could not wait to wear around school on match days, the end-of-season parties at my coach’s house, and the four varsity letters that I received.

During my senior year, I was paired with one of my best friends—the one with whom I had taken lessons when we were five years old—as my doubles partner. It was crazy to see how we had gone from little girls who pretended to play the guitar with our racquets to teenagers who could work together on the court and derive winning strategies. That year, for the first time in my school’s history, our team won the District Finals, sending us to Hershey to play in the PIAA Girls’ Tennis Championships. For us, this was an incredible achievement, celebrating not only our hard work throughout the season but our commitment to the game as well. Tennis was literally what we breathed, ate, and slept—in fact, our coach instructed us to picture hitting winners in our sleep. We were victorious in our first match in Hershey and advanced to the semi-final round. After an extensive three-set match, my doubles partner and I pulled out a grueling win! Unfortunately, our team lost 4-3. While it was upsetting to come so close to a state title, my time in Hershey encompassed my tennis career; I played with my best friend, my parents surprised me and watched me play since they previously had to hide behind bushes for all of my other matches upon my very strict orders, and I ended my high school career with a medal around my neck—in addition to new apparel!

At times, tennis had been a source of great frustration in my life. After I got back from states, I took a year off from playing the sport. It had been such a time-consuming and mentally challenging aspect of my life, so I decided that a break would be good for me to focus on other things. When I would pick up my brother from his tennis lessons, watching people hit would make me suddenly feel the need to text my coach and ask to set up a lesson, but for some reason, I could never get myself to send the message.

Ironically, during the past two summers, I worked at a day camp as a tennis specialist. I found that my job served as my passage back into tennis. I was on the court every day feeding balls, creating games, running drills, and modeling different shots. My summer life was always consumed with tennis, but what made this different was that it was noncompetitive.

Upon coming to the University of Delaware, I decided not to formally pursue tennis during my freshman year. I did, however, bring my racquet and a few cans of balls in hopes of just hitting around with some of my new friends—that was, if I could successfully navigate the campus to actually find the tennis courts, which I will embarrassingly admit, did not happen until this year.

I thought that I would most likely never play tennis for a team again.  But, my feeling changed earlier this year. Looking to get more involved on campus, I perused the list of different clubs and activities. I wanted something that fit my interests, would help me meet new people, and would be most importantly, fun. I stumbled upon Club Tennis on the list, and it brought back all of my amazing memories. After looking on their website, stalking their social media accounts—because what college student today does not possess FBI-worthy skills—and examining my schedule, I decided to do what any independent undergrad would do: I called my mom. Looking back on our phone conversation that day, my mom tells me that she was shocked that I even entertained the thought of Club Tennis, as she had been my source for guidance when my love of the game started to diminish. She encouraged me to go for it as I had nothing to lose.

I am so happy to say that after practicing my serve every day leading up to tryouts, trekking to the courts at Newark High School, and strategically coordinating my tennis skirts with my Nike hats, I am officially one of the newest members of the University of Delaware Club Tennis team! As I am writing this blog post, I have been on the team for exactly one month, and it has been one of the best months of my college career. Not only has tennis served as a form of exercise, but it has allowed me to strengthen my skills, enabled me to meet people and build friendships, escape the stresses of everyday life, and make me a more confident person. So, as the semester is still just beginning, I encourage you to use me as an example. Try to find something that will bring you as much joy as Club Tennis has for me. There are an infinite number of clubs, activities, and social events available to you. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, or rekindle a previous passion that you thought you had given up. After all, you may find that your “love” is out there waiting for you to uncover it!

“Time Flies When UD’s Having Fun” by Carly Patent

Recalling my first day of kindergarten comes easily to me. I wore a purple dress with flowers and a pair of pristine white sandals. My backpack, which was almost as big as me, was bright pink with tiny light pink and purple flowers decorating the straps. My lunchbox was decked out with everything Cinderella, from a picture of her in her huge blue ball gown to cut outs of her glass slipper and animal friends. Around my neck hung a piece of yarn with a laminated bus dangling from it, serving as a form of identification detailing my name, teacher’s name, grade, bus number, bus stop, and classroom number. As the bright yellow school bus approached the bus stop at the corner of my street, I hugged my mom and brother goodbye, climbed onto the bus, and sat in the first seat as any novice student would do. Continue reading

“I Scream, You Scream, UD Screams for Ice Cream” by Carly Patent

It’s no secret that we love our UDairy at the University of Delaware. Upon touring the campus as prospective students, we are spoon fed it (forgive the pun), oftentimes for free—perhaps anticipating that potential students will want to apply after having tasted UDairy. Even our beloved former Vice President Joe Biden has been known to enjoy a double scoop of UDairy’s chocolate and vanilla. Walking around campus, it’s likely that you are never too far from a UDairy-supporting site. At the Dining Hall, you can feast on ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—not the best idea if you are trying to prevent the “Freshman 15.” While studying in Barnes and Noble, you can purchase a pint for a quick pick-me-up, or perhaps you will be fortunate enough to spot the black and white Moo Mobile while walking to or from class. On a nice day, you may consider making the well-worth-it trek to the Creamery store. Here at UD, our ice cream is always in high demand; it’s hard to dislike a cup or cone of this cold creamy concoction, especially when it’s covered in blue and yellow sprinkles!

Over spring break, my friends and I realized that eating ice cream from our favorite ice cream shops or store bought brands was not the same. Take for instance, my all-time favorite flavor, Fudge Ripple. Due to my constant whining, my mom knows to keep at least a half-gallon of this vanilla ice cream laced with heaping amounts of chocolate fudge in our freezer at all times. When I got my wisdom teeth out over winter break, I decided that the “Freshman 15” did not apply, and I lived on this stuff for an entire week. One night over spring break, I had a craving for ice cream and decided to break out my beloved Fudge Ripple. Upon taking just one bite, it was apparent to me that the ice cream I used to enjoy thoroughly just wasn’t the same after having been spoiled with UDairy for so many months. I graciously offered it to my family members and threw away my “Do Not Eat!” note which I had strategically stuck to the lid.

I’m not exactly sure what makes UDairy so special—whether it is the zillions of unique flavors or the specialty of choosing something that I know is limited to UD’s campus. I do know, however, that it may be one thing that unites all University of Delaware students. Whether you are a chocoholic who craves Delaware River Mud Pie, a yuppie who prefers exotic flavors like Fig-Goat-a ‘Bout It!, or someone who is content with just a scoop of vanilla, you will always find something at UDairy. They even have different flavors of sorbet for my dairy-free friends. As an added bonus, UDairy comes out with limited-time seasonal flavors for holidays, which serve as justification for going over and trying them. From Millburn Orchards-inspired Apple Cider Donut in the fall and wintry Peppermint Bark to Chocolate Covered Strawberry for Valentine’s Day and the classic St. Patrick’s Day’s Irish Potato, it’s easy to tell which holidays and special occasions are coming up based just on UDairy’s flavor list.

As the weather gets warmer and the thought of sipping on a piping hot latte no longer seems appealing, UDairy ice cream should come to mind. As nice days become more plentiful in the Spring, consider a brisk walk to the Creamery as a nice distraction to the impending finals stress. Who knows, you may even catch a glimpse of one of the one hundred cows roaming around (unless you prefer to just buy yourself a cute stuffed one from inside instead)! Now, though, I do know that this summer my fellow Blue Hens and I may feel a sense of loss as we return home for our summer breaks. Luckily, the Creamery ships pints in coolers stuffed with dry ice—so that we never have to go a day without our beloved UDairy. I believe that it is definitely safe to say that UD screams for ice cream!

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